Patrolman Clarence E. Hamler

Patrolman Clarence E. Hamler

Chattanooga Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Sunday, August 14, 1977

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Clarence E. Hamler

Patrolman Hamler was shot and killed when he interrupted a robbery on his way to work around 1:30 p.m. at the Red Food Store on S. Broad Street.

He had stopped at a grocery store to visit his brother when two armed robbers entered. As Patrolman Hamler rounded a corner one of the suspects shot him in the head and neck. Patrolman Hamler's brother picked up his gun and fatally wounded one of the suspects.

The second suspect, age 53, was added to the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List and was apprehended three months later. He was given a death sentence which was later reduced to life. In 1956 the suspect was the first criminal to be sentenced to life under Tennessee's new habitual criminal act. He had spent most of his life in prisons and had escaped several times. He was out on work release when he killed Patrolman Hamler.

Patrolman Hamler had been with the agency for three years and was survived by his wife and two sons.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 367

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender One shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service. RIP sir.

Retired First Sergeant Thomas Webb
New York State Police - Troop "D"

December 30, 2023

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